I have been searching for an answer for all of my abdominal symptoms that had been going on for almost two years. The last test was a contrast MRI. There are three words you never expect to hear, nor want to hear a second time. It was what my MRI revealed. “You have cancer.” After 13 years of being cancer-free and finally feeling free, I got the diagnosis. “You have Breast cancer in your T9 rib and T9, T10 and T11 vertebra.” I now have metastatic breast cancer or stage IV. I was diagnosed early the first time and treatment was short in 2004. Two years later my husband was diagnosed with MS. It has left him disabled and with what some doctors consider dementia symptoms, due to the atrophy and lesions in his brain and with impaired mobility. Our financial life was shattered with his loss of employment. He had been an accountant. Eventually he got SSD. I have become the major bread winner and caretaker. Now my livelihood as a hairstylist is threatened with the cost of treatments and time off. I am self-employed so I have no sick pay, vacation nor disability. Because I have had breast cancer, no insurance would insure me for disability. So I am faced with “how do I pay my house note, utilities, car payment, health insurance and medical bill?” “How do we survive?” Thank God I have health insurance for the remainder of the year. Depending upon what happens to the Healthcare System currently in place, I hope that I have it next year. I don’t know my prognosis and I am afraid to ask. I don’t know how long treatment will take. All the answers will come with each meeting I have with my oncologist. I am beginning radiation and will be also doing immunotherapy or chemotherapy depending upon how much the cancer metastasized Right now we need help. I am searching for anything to help keep us in our house, to keep our heads above water, while I figure out how to fight the biggest battle of my life, for my life.